a1flower

Which machine to purchase

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I am planning to purchase a longarm machine and I don't know which one would be the best. Anyone have any advice.

I am new to all of this and need all of your help.

It's so hard to get anyone around here to do my quilts and the tops are just pileing up.

Thanks

North Carolina Cowgirl who likes to make quilts.

Marcie

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Marcie,

If you have a chance to try out some machine, like at a show, by all means do so. They are too expensive not to take them for a test drive first. There are several manufactures and you need to decide which one is right for you. Of course I own a Millie, and recommend APQS for their prompt and friendly customer service. I never have any trouble with my machine, unless it is operator error :) But I know people who own other brands who would tell you the same thing. Look to see if there is a showroom or a demo going on in your area and contact them about attending.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Thanks I hear those machines give less trouble, thats what I want less trouble more sewing.

I have sewed on a few but they all seem the same as far as sew smooth and easy, with a finger they just glide.

I can't wait to get one.

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Like the advice above, please try as many different machines and manufacturers as you can. I have tried all the machines I can get my hands on and took some classes also to make sure this is for me. It's hard when you're looking at all the goodies but really try to decide which options you can or can't live without, especially if the budget says you can't. I found that going with a slightly simpler machine but getting the brand I wanted was the way to go to save money and get the quality. My APQS Freedom SR is coming in September and I couldn't be happier. And if you will be starting a business along with the machine purchase, make sure your local quilt shops know you. The are all kinds of discussions here on starting a business, getting customers, etc. Take advantage of all the wonderful advice here. Good luck!


Renee Henderson

Covered Wagon Quilts

Gilbert, AZ

480-813-4503

Freedom SR 2007

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Thanks, sounds great.

The machine you are getting is the one I am leaning towards or the Millie:) The topics and advice on here is wonderful.

I am considering a business, to take care of the expense of the machine.

Everyone is so helpful. I will post when and if I get one.

Marcie

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Marcie,

before you decide to jump in and take the plunge thinking you can pay for your machine with a business...do your homework. Find out the supply and demand for machine quilters in your area. Don't fall for the line from the manufactures that there are so many quilt tops stacked up in closets that it would take all the machine quilters 100 years to quilt them all....or whatever it is they say. It may be true...but the people with closets full have not been knocking my door down...and I bet they haven't anyone elses either.

Call other machines quilters in your area and pretend you want a top done. Ask about the waiting period. Check with your LQS to see if they work with machine quilters - if you are allowed to leave your card etc. Just do your homework before you make this purchase.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Marcie,

Ditto to what Mary Beth states about plunging into the business.

As for which machine to choose, I went through this last fall, and I picked the APQS (I got a Liberty). I am not going into business, I bought it just for me. I live in Gammill country, but I picked APQS because of the positive feedback I got on their support, their reps (as you will see on this site) and the quality of the product and finally the fact that the machine was lighter then the others.

It is a personal choice, so you pick what's best for your!!! Just get one, there are great. I have so much fun with mine!!! I could go into business if I wanted to but I enjoy just doing it for me. Besides, the three quilt shops in my area are pretty covered up with LA'ers anyway and one shop has an inhouse APQS and quilter.

Some people thought I was crazy for just buying it for myself since these cost about as much as a small car..... well, boats cost more than a longarm as do many other things people buy for pleasure. So why not!!!!

I hope you make your choice and get what you want... please join us here on the Forum. The people here are wonderful and like family. Also, there are many used machines available for sale on this site so check that out too. :cool: I hope you choose an APQS...:P


Beth Liotta

APQS Liberty with Intelliquilter BasiQ

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I fell in love with the Freedom SR . It runs smooth and is a delight to sew with. I actually visited the APQS showroom today in Des Moines. If you get a chance drop in there. You will be thrilled to try out any machine you are thinking of.


Cheryll Baber

Millenium

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My favorite machines are the Freedom SR and the Millie - those seem to be the work horses of APQS. I like a larger throat - so I can advance the quilt less often and mark on the quilt with stencils, etc. These are two excellent machines for those who are going into business.

One of my biggest "pet peaves" is the money issue - I believe the hardest part about this business isnt the quilting - but handing a customer a bill! You become frozen in fear if you've had to face customers who think this is your "hobby" or "craft". They freak out at a $60.00 quilting job - at least 10 years ago they did.

So basically - I want to get longarmers to make a living wage per hour - that is my passion with quilters. Helping to make that min. wage - to avoid burn out and to thrive. I go on and on in my lectures/classes about money - here's what I have discovered. In a very simple way -

After being in business myself, traveling all over different parts of the country - asking the questions to other longarmers about their backlog - I have come up with this:

You will NEVER RUN OUT of work if you follow these very simple rules :

*leave a stack of business cards at the quilt shops -resupply it every month

*go to the guilds every month- even if you hate it -bring show and tell of your latest work

*do your very best quilting on every quilt

There are parts of the country - that have such a strong hand-quilting history - that they are not up to speed on how much machine quilting will run. My point is to educate each customer -one at a time - on how many hours you have into the quilt, how expenses play into your business, the wages should be at least min. wage - if you have to explain it to them. (not that you should have to explain it to them...but some things take a little more effort...)

I give them this example -

If you brought your car into a mechanic - and she worked on your car for about 15 hours - you are not going to expect a bill for $60.00, right? This is a quilt, a heirloom, a piece of art....etc.

But I explain it with a smile, and try not to piss them off.

All quilters will expect you to be on the cheaper side the first year you are in business. Its your obligation - after that first year, to increase your rates. It helps us all in the end if you do!

Every year, give yourself a raise. No matter what. Because the next gal - who buys her machine - will charge as close to what you are charging in your area. Remember - after the first year, you are the expert at this!

Sorry so long......forgive me.....I am trying to post as much as possible because APQS said its good for me to get out of my head.....I think this is number 15!!

post--13461898397992_thumb.jpg


Karen McTavish McTavish Quilting Studio - APQS Duluth APQS Showroom www.mctavishquilting.com (218) 391-8218 karen@mctavishquilting.com

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Marcie,

I am in Greensboro, and you are welcome to come and try out my Mille if you want.

I agree that with Mary Beth on everything, except one thing, When you call quilters in your area, be upfront about that you are thinking about going into business. You can really learn a lot about your competition that way! I have a story, but I won't go into it here except to say that her customers might to be ready to try a quilter with a different attitude. Plus, it can be frustrating when someone calls about wanting a top done and we spend time and energy, and then we wonder why they never call back!

I got my machine almost a year ago, and my business is doing just fine. At this point it's still a part time gig for me ( I have little ones that limit my quilting time).

Also, since I started, there have been a few new LA'ers that have sprung up here, one that also has CQ. We even belong to the same guild, but so far we haven't stepped on each other's toes. There is enough business for everyone! We all have different styles, just like our customers.

I believe competition is good for business. I also believe that you don't necessarily have to be dependent on "local" customers for business. I have customers in Florida, New Hampshire, Charlotte, and in Greensboro and more.

Where are you located? Please feel free to contact me.


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Got You Covered Quilts

Millenium and CQ

Greensboro, NC

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Tina,

You are right, she should be up front and tell them who she is. I am pretty shy...as you all can tell...and I would have had a problem when I was just starting out calling someone up to tell them I was thinking of starting a business and wondering what they charge. I could do it now, mostly because I know most of them and talk to them often.

Karen,

Thank you for your post #15 (sheesh look at me, I'm a blabber mouth). The things you said hit home with me because of the quilt guild here in our area that are not friendly. I will bite the bullet and go to their next meeting. And try to like it.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Affter trying to talk myself out of the expense, I bought a Millie right after Christmas. I decided that i would only do quilts for myself for the first year to get myself comfortable. I have had not one bit of trouble... the tensions is easy to set, the machine works like a dream, the people at APQS answer questions readily and accurately. In June I added the CompuQuilter and can see it will be easy to have all the work I want from others.

It is imperative to not underpay yourself! People VALUE what they pay for. I urge anyone in this enterprise to act like good businesswomen from the start. If you do a good job, are selective in taking the quilts, especially in the beginning, you will succeed. I have two dozen proloific quilters waiting for me to take theiir quilts, but I am sticking to my year to learn. I used to do textle conservation and appaisal and notoiced a theme: people always want a bargain, but they also always want high appraisals. The lesson I learned from that business was to be kindly truthful, direct and not to give bargains. It will pay off in the end. If you want to throw in an embroidered label gratis, or sometthing else unexpected, like free thread for the fifth qult, people like those things, but never give away your labor unless you want to set a precident.

Good luck. It IS a big investment, but I think you will delight in your machine when you get it. I strugggled for years with a DSM, and wish I had done this soon er!


Linda Fuller Silver

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Marcie,

I purchased a Liberty and have been very happy with my choice. Service is great! The stitch quality on this machine is very impressive. I have not quilted with all the other brands available, but I have seen quilts others have quilted. In my opinion APQS has the best stitch quality. This was important to me. My only complaint about my Liberty, is visibility. If that could be improved I would be jumping with joy! I also love the design of the take up roller on the APQS machines. I just step on my motorized feed to advance my quilt and keep on stitching. There is nothing else to adjust. I quilt for myself only, so I can't comment on the business of quilting for others. I know it is an expensive piece of equiptmen t for a hobby. However, my husband enjoys fishing and his boat (not to mention the new motor) was way more expensive than my used Liberty. And, I do not expect him to catch enough fish to pay for his boat/motor! Good luck with your decision.

Carol

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of getting paid for quilting - I have a new Networking article out in the August issue of Quilting NOW magazine. http://www.quiltingnow.com/

I talk about networking and getting paid what your worth! Thanks Karen!

Here is a little about the magazine:

Quilting Professional magazine has changed to Quilting Now.

Quilting NOW will keep you up to date with the latest and greatest in quilting. We'll now not only be covering tips and techniques, patterns and projects, but we will bring you the latest product previews, the inside scoop on who's who in the quilting world and advice from industry icons

For those of you who LOVE to quilt, this magazine is just for you! It's also for those of you who want to make some money doing what you LOVE to do. Bonus features will be special stories on the quilting cottage industry.

The decision to make this change was based on feedback we've received from our readers like you! We are changing our magazine contents at your request. The recent surveys we've done have helped us determine the content most desired, and we are working toward making those requests become reality. Thanks to those of you who have shared your thoughts --you've given us some great ideas for special topics to feature in upcoming issues of the magazine.

This website - quiltingprofessional.com - will continue to be the home of the Professional Longarm Yellowbook -- the resource guide that helps quilters find longarm quilters to finish their quilts.

Hope this was helpful!

-Cheryl

post--13461898398252_thumb.jpg


Cheryl Uribe

Livermore, California ~45 miles east of San Francisco

APQS Representative/Educator

Since 2004

Sales, Demonstrations & Education

www.gizmogirlquilts.com

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Thank you all for the information you have been very helpful.

What do you think about getting a used machine or referbished?

I thinks this is a wonderful site and now if you can teach me to use it that would be great to. LOL

Marcie

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Hi Marcie,

I bought my Millie last year from APQS and it was a used, certified machine. I don't get to quilt as much as I would like (work keeps interfering) but I haven't had one lick of trouble with my Millie.

I wouldn't hestitate to go that route again.


Gail

APQS Millennium

http://community.webshots.com/user/QuiltFaerie

"If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning -- Catherine Aird"

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Karen,

I am so glad you wrote about this. I am starting a quilting business and just talked to a woman the other day who told me she really hoped I would be reasonably priced as .015 cents an inch was such a horrendous price. I was sort of speachless. I thought that I would start at that and go up from there. Your post made me think it would still be okay to do that. This is not a hobby, the machines are quite expensive, and to do this professionally you have to earn enough to make it worth it.

Kim


Kim Peterson

kimberwoodquilting.com

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Cheryl,

Thank you!! I got my issue ( and read your article). I knew it was named something else, but could not think of it...then I decided that I must have subscribed to a new magazine :P Okay, I'm a dork with sometimers.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Mary Beth:

You know I'll sit with you if you'll go to the guild meeting!! ;) It's taken me a while but I'm starting to get to know some of the people and there are some nice ones in the bunch. It helped alot when I volunteered to do the Opportunity quilt and HAD to talk to some of them I wouldn't have ever wanted to otherwise and ended up liking them. Go figure! There are the ones who aren't friendly, but they don't seem friendly to anyone. Point is: I'll sit by you and even talk to you a little.:D


2A2BAA90D25192BCD7055DF493458EF3.png

There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable amount of chocolate.

http://community.webshots.com/user/shadows4

jrumans1@kc.rr.com

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As above, I plan to charge .015 per square inch when I start. I feel this is a fair price. Remember, those that want a cheap price are not thinking high quality job. I feel that if I provide high quality work, the $$ will come.


Renee Henderson

Covered Wagon Quilts

Gilbert, AZ

480-813-4503

Freedom SR 2007

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Karen, we're so glad you are here, but if you hang out with us you'll turn into a real Chatty Cathy in no time, it gets more compusive everytime you log on!


7CB1BF7B399CF481C4AED78FE8002A31.png

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

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Karen, thank you very much for your input. I'm still struggling to remember that I'm not responsible for the cost of someone elses hobby and I do have expenses to meet.

I love my Liberty and think APQS service is the greatest. The one thing I would say is this: if you anticipate starting a business with the machine then get the Millenium, not the Liberty. The Millenium has a better view and because of the extra quilting room that you have over the Liberty, you won't have to roll your work and re-adjust everything as often. That means you will be able to quilt faster. Time is money; especially in this work. The Millenium is not that much more than the Liberty when you are already paying as much as a car (well, a small car). I'm still trying to figure out how to move up to the Millenium.


353f54bdaebafc9966a258e36a669486.png

Oklahoma City, OK

Millenium

www.myheartlandquilts.com

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Hi Marcie,

:). I bought my machine, a Liberty, in December and absolutely love it. I researched for about two years and went to many shows and played with a lot of different brands before making my final decision. The stitch quality and ease of use is what impressed me and I truly believe that the customer service I have received from Apqs is Priceless! You also learn alot from this website just by reading!

I am using my machine for my hobby solely. I did buy a demo machine and ended saving about 15% off the MSRP. You may want to contact a dealer that you comfortable with and let them know you are interested. They can let you know when specials or floor models become available. I purchased my Liberty with the hydraulic lift and that seems to aid with the visibilty issue and adds to the comfort level of my machine.

I hope this has helped. Good luck.

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Marcie, I agree with those who said try out all the machines. I own a Nolting (my second one) and I have never had any problems. There are lots of different machines out there and you will find most people are happy with their choices. It really is a matter of what is right for YOU. Good luck.

Gable


FC06CB1A4E1BB90CC02814317BE0F0C6.png

Gable

Nolting PRO 24

 

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